CR for an NPC built exactly like a PC?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

I'm looking to build a "rival" team to go against the PCs, and I'm building these guys exactly as if they were PCs (traits, character wealth, etc.), following all the same rules they do. How do I determine their CR? Should it be level = CR?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If I understand the rule system correctly.

PC Classes result to Level - 1 CR.
If you though equip them as PCs would be that is a +1.

So yes given what you are describing it is Level = CR.


I think it'd be more difficult than that.

NPC classes (Im thinking adept/warrior) result to level-1 CR.

If you make them true pc classes then the fight will really be a toss up.


LukeM wrote:

If I understand the rule system correctly.

PC Classes result to Level - 1 CR.
If you though equip them as PCs would be that is a +1.

So yes given what you are describing it is Level = CR.

ACTUALLY the stats being built on 20-points raises it another 1 CR.

PC Cr= Class Level + 2 (1 for pc wealth and 1 for stats)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

From the Core Rulebook.

Assuming NPC gear.
NPC Classes are -2.
PC Classes are -1.

CRB wrote:

Adding NPCs: Creatures whose Hit Dice are solely a factor of their class levels and not a feature of their race, such as all of the PC races detailed in Races, are factored into combats a little differently than normal monsters or monsters with class levels. A creature that possesses class levels, but does not have any racial Hit Dice, is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –1. A creature that only possesses non-player class levels (such as a warrior or adept) is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –2. If this reduction would reduce a creature's CR to below 1, its CR drops one step on the following progression for each step below 1 this reduction would make: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8.

And on Gear.

CRB wrote:

NPC Gear Adjustments: You can significantly increase or decrease the power level of an NPC with class levels by adjusting the NPC's gear. The combined value of an NPC's gear is given in Creating NPCs on Table: NPC Gear. A classed NPC encountered with no gear should have his CR reduced by 1 (provided that loss of gear actually hampers the NPC), while a classed NPC that instead has gear equivalent to that of a PC (as listed on Table: Character Wealth by Level) has a CR of 1 higher than his actual CR. Be careful awarding NPCs this extra gear, though—especially at high levels, where you can blow out your entire adventure's treasure budget in one fell swoop!

PRD Link to Above

As for the 20 point build, I didn't know that one. That in a rulebook somewhere or accepted wisdom?


LukeM wrote:

From the Core Rulebook.

Assuming NPC gear.
NPC Classes are -2.
PC Classes are -1.

CRB wrote:

Adding NPCs: Creatures whose Hit Dice are solely a factor of their class levels and not a feature of their race, such as all of the PC races detailed in Races, are factored into combats a little differently than normal monsters or monsters with class levels. A creature that possesses class levels, but does not have any racial Hit Dice, is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –1. A creature that only possesses non-player class levels (such as a warrior or adept) is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –2. If this reduction would reduce a creature's CR to below 1, its CR drops one step on the following progression for each step below 1 this reduction would make: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8.

And on Gear.

CRB wrote:

NPC Gear Adjustments: You can significantly increase or decrease the power level of an NPC with class levels by adjusting the NPC's gear. The combined value of an NPC's gear is given in Creating NPCs on Table: NPC Gear. A classed NPC encountered with no gear should have his CR reduced by 1 (provided that loss of gear actually hampers the NPC), while a classed NPC that instead has gear equivalent to that of a PC (as listed on Table: Character Wealth by Level) has a CR of 1 higher than his actual CR. Be careful awarding NPCs this extra gear, though—especially at high levels, where you can blow out your entire adventure's treasure budget in one fell swoop!

PRD Link to Above

As for the 20 point build, I didn't know that one. That in a rulebook somewhere or accepted wisdom?

In almost every stat block of nearly every boss in Kingmaker has a note saying that they are built on a 20-point buy and it raised the CR by 1.


APs are built for 15 point buy characters and there is a rule somewhere.


Keep in mind that the CR of an encounter depends a lot on how you play them (though their equipment does play into it).

As a team of rivals to the PCs, are you going to play them as particularly good at team synergy? Will they be built to exploit the abilities of their teammates? e.g. Sound Burst isn't too deadly... unless their Rogue is an archer and is ready to make Rapid Shot sneak attacks against your stunned Wizard. Do they cast Summon Monster in flanking positions? Did the cleric use Imbue with Spell Ability on the fighter so he can buff himself with Divine Favor? Did they tailor their build specifically to fight against the PC's (e.g. all taking Iron Will against your SoL spells)?

If they're going to be using your toughest strategies, I'd ad hoc adjust their CR up one or two levels to compensate - because their Challenge is certainly tougher.

Liberty's Edge

As is pointed out NPCs are built on 15 points because 15 points is the default assumption for PCs as well. IMO, if you bump an NPC up to no higher than a PC I wouldn't increase their CR.

Sovereign Court

If memory correctly serves me, I don't think NPCs get traits. You have to use the Extra Traits feat.


Kodger wrote:
If memory correctly serves me, I don't think NPCs get traits. You have to use the Extra Traits feat.

They don't ordinarily, but it seems he is making an exception for this particular band of rivals. It makes sense to me, but it should factor in to his CR decision because two traits are roughly equal to one feat.


Rapthorn2ndform wrote:

In almost every stat block of nearly every boss in Kingmaker has a note saying that they are built on a 20-point buy and it raised the CR by 1.

Which bosses? I find only one, and he also has PC resources yet only +1 CR.

Spoiler:
It Irovetti, if you're wondering

When you think about it, a 20 point build is only enough to raise 2-3 stats a single point. The Advanced Template raises every stat by 2 points in addition to it's other bonuses.

A 20 point build isn't really worth 1/2 a CR. Maybe a 25 point build might be worth a whole CR if applied to a SAD NPC who can put all the extra points in his primary stat.


Yea, 5 stat points is really, really not worth an extra CR. 5 stat points and two traits? Maybe.

The general trend for monster-building in 3.5 (which was somewhat different, and applied to monsters that aren't like NPCs) was that a bonus feat normally translate to about ~1/6 of a CR.

It will also depend a lot on how you build them. The only way to really get a sense of CR is to build them and see.

Finally, level makes a huge difference. At level 12, 5 stat points and 2 traits make essentially no difference--even a single level's worth of extra wealth would more than overshadow the difference, let alone 13th level class abilities.
At level 1, on the other hand, PC wealth won't make much differences, but 5 stat points and a bonus feat will.


How should the CR be changed if an NPC is given a favored class bonus as a PC?


Unless they take a skill that radically changes what they can do, tactically, not much.


Actually, favored class bonuses can make a pretty big difference. For an anti-mage human barbarian at 9th level, that’s +3 higher saves versus all spells and spell-like abilities while raging. For a Duergar Aegis, that’s an extra 1 DR/- per 4 levels.

If I wanted to make a Vitalist villain, with both the range of her telepathy and all her buffs as the entire material plane, capable of very literally fighting with the PC's through her mooks, that would only take 10 class levels for a Dromite, but 15 for any other race.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Generally speaking, extra PC wealth and going from the heroic array to a free-form 15 point buy is worth about a +1 CR. However, at low levels this isn't very accurate since PC wealth isn't actually that high. Traits on their own are not even close to being worth an additional CR.

As for raising point buy, this gets trickier to deal with. Different classes respond differently to a point buy increase. SAD classes such as the wizard benefit very slightly, as an optimized wizard can already have his intelligence maxed on a 15 point buy and is only improving secondary attributes. A MAD class like the Monk, however, will thrive with a higher point buy. This means you need to deal with things on a case-by-case basis.

Quote:
How should the CR be changed if an NPC is given a favored class bonus as a PC?

Not at all; NPC's are allowed favored class bonuses normally.

The fact that some FC bonuses are unreasonable compared to the baseline +1 HP (looking at you, human sorcerer) is a balance issue, not a CR guideline issue. If the final NPC is too powerful, you can always ad-hoc a CR adjustment, but favored class bonuses should not impact its CR in and of themselves.


Dasrak wrote:
Quote:
How should the CR be changed if an NPC is given a favored class bonus as a PC?
Not at all; NPC's are allowed favored class bonuses normally.

Huh! I did not realize that! Thanks!

Dasrak wrote:
The fact that some FC bonuses are unreasonable compared to the baseline +1 HP (looking at you, human sorcerer) is a balance issue, not a CR guideline issue.

The general rule for FC bonuses seems to be that to be given an unspecific ability equivalent to a feat cost 6 FC points, while a specific ability equivalent to a feat costs 4 FC points, which I like a lot, actually, to me that is reasonable, despite 20 hit points or 20 skill points costing 1 feat, not 3.

I'd houserule the Sorcerer as getting 1/4th new spell known per FC point.


I think you always have to have a final "smell test" to determine whether the NPC has an appropriate CR.

For example, a PC fighter 1 is CR 1 and worth 400 xp if thrown against a party. A NPC fighter 1 is CR 1/2 and worth 200 xp if thrown against a party. Is the PC fighter really worth 2 NPC fighters with similar or greater amounts of gear even if he has a few modest bonuses?

This is less of an issue at higher levels where a PC has significantly higher wealth than an equal level NPC and where the difference of 1 CR isn't double the xp value.


The thing to remember is that a mirror match with 50-50 odds is a really hard fight, and so it will have a high CR.

The rule is level -1 for heroic classes (Fighter, Wizard, etc) and level -2 for NPC classes (warrior, adept, etc).

This means that for any four-man party, fighting an identical four-man party of equal level is an APL+3 encounter, or "hard" according to the CRB.


Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

The thing to remember is that a mirror match with 50-50 odds is a really hard fight, and so it will have a high CR.

The rule is level -1 for heroic classes (Fighter, Wizard, etc) and level -2 for NPC classes (warrior, adept, etc).

This means that for any four-man party, fighting an identical four-man party of equal level is an APL+3 encounter, or "hard" according to the CRB.

With identical gear (presuming the party has average wealth), that's another +1, so the 50-50 level ends up being APL+4.

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